Apple Unveils the latest iOS 8 Update at WWDC 2014; To be Available this Fall

Mac OSX 10.10 was not the only major software update announcement at the WWDC Opening keynote in San Francisco today. Apple also gave us a brief look at the future of iOS as they introduced the iOS 8 update, which is more of an enhancement and consolidation to iOS 8. iOS 8 update will be available for everyone who owns an iPhone 4s and above as well as iPad 2 and above this fall, though if you are a part of the iOS Developer Programme, you can go ahead and download the iOS 8 Beta immediately.

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As alluded to earlier, iOS 8 update was a more of a building job on the iOS 7 major update of last year. However, it was the first time where we saw Apple maybe show a sign of opening up to developers a wee bit more than what we have come to expect in a very closed programme. Apple introduced with iOS 8 widgets in the notification area, interactive notifications, whereby you can respond to a text from the notification itself or like a picture right from the FB notification as well as enhancements to iMessage application where you can name your threads of conversations, mute the notifications, and send or receive voice as well as audio messages. All the notification on the lockscreen are now interactive, so you can easily respond to a calendar appointment right from the lockscreen without having to go inside the application completely.

Apple also has brought a list of your favorite and most contacted contacts just above the list of apps which appear when you double tap the home button for multi tasking, this way you can get in touch with your loved ones immediately. Siri got a bit of an update too, and can now recognize songs with Shazam integrated in to it. Spotlight search also got a bit of boost, as you can now use it to search fro not only local songs, apps or mails, but also apps that you may not have developed or the song that you might want to buy. The new keyboard on iOS 8 now supports predictive texting allowing for faster texting.

Apple showed off its HealthKit too, which will bring the Health app that would be the one place for all the vital stats that the wearable device paired with iPhone will bring. For example, if you use two different wearables, one for measuring your calories and one for your heart beat, they both will be able to communicate internally and bring the data to the Health app on your iPhone making it one stop place for measuring your body stats. There was great news for families too as Apple introduced family sharing by which you can add up to six Apple IDs to it and then download songs or paid apps or movies to any of the six devices by paying on just one of them.

The Dev section of the conference saw Tim Cook announce an enhanced App Store for easier app search by adding explore section and sub genres within the existing setup. Apple also announced the Testflight programme whereby you can join your favorite developer in Beta testing his apps from the App Store only. Devs can also add in previews in the form of videos of their apps as well as provide bundles in case they have more than one app, for a discounted rate, which the user can pick with just one click. Another important feature was extensibility which would allow inter app communication, thereby, you can open say, filters from VSCOCam from inside your iOS Photos app or directly share pictures via Pinterest or Whatsapp who may add their sharing logo in the default sharing section on iOS.

Support for third party keyboards was added too, alongside Touch ID being opened to third party apps, though Apple did insist all the fingerprint data will remain local in the app. Apple opened the Camera API to devs so they could play around with Focus, Exposure and White Balance and also introduced Metal, which would allow games to take greater advantage of the chipset that Apple uses. Metal will reduce overheads, giving you multithreading and better graphical performance for games.

The last announcement of the day was the new programming language called Swift which is based on Embedded C but is simpler and more modern with better previews. The language will allow for easier and faster app development for both iOS and OSX and uses the same LLVM compiler as C.

So, that was a roundup of everything that happened at the WWDC 2014 in San Francisco. What are your thought? What was your favorite feature? Let us know.

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